I had a great few hours on Sunday mooching around the four floors of iconic London Department store, Liberty. Organised in conjunction with Livingetc magazine, the event included breakfast, a chance to meet the team behind Livingetc, and the ability to browse the store for an hour or so before the doors opened to the general public. Oh yeah, and there was 20% off any purchases made the same day…..
So you may be wondering why I’m telling you about this event. Well, I’ll tell you. Apart from the fact that I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever been to Liberty before (I know, right?! How have I lived in London for so long without getting there!?), what I did not expect was the huge array of globally inspired interiors on offer. Yuh-huh – there’s an Oriental Room, choc full of carved wooden objects, beautifully crafted and painted cabinets, ceramics and Japanese artwork. And if that wasn’t enough, Liberty also has a massive collection of Persian rugs, tribal kilims, Moroccan wedding blankets and Moroccan and Turkish lanterns! The additional icing on the cake for me was also a pretty comprehensive collection of home accessories from super-stylish Danish brand, Hay. It was very much a tale of two global extremes!
How fabulous is that cheeky tiger rug in the photo above!? They’re available in both silk and wool versions, with the silk ones being significantly more pricey. I think they’d look fabulous in a kid’s room, though they don’t come cheap at between £395 and £695 each. Yikes.
Liberty’s range of Handiras (otherwise known as Moroccan wedding blankets) was pretty impressive, with a number of different styles available, and with varying levels of sequin adornments. Prices seemed to start around £395, which is significantly more pricey than you can pick them up from Morocco, though these could be a good option if you can’t get away to haggle for them directly in the souks of Marrakesh. For a more unique take on the traditional wedding blankets though, make sure you head over to Maryam Montague’s online souk. I know I plug her store quite a bit, but she offers quite alot of unusual styles that offer something a bit different. For example, this be-yoo-tiful black wedding blanket that resembles a night sky full of stars. Gorgeous. And on sale!
Needless to say, I did not have the funds (even taking account of my 20% discount) to invest in any of the global treasures on offer. I was rather taken with the cabinet below though and did spend a great deal of time working out whether the discount made it an acceptable buy. I concluded that I could not justify the spend (curse you, sensible part of brain!).
I did indulge, however as it would have been silly not to make use of a 20% discount (yeah, yeah, I can see you rolling your eyes!). Any of you regular readers want to hazard a guess as to what I bought….?
Yup, you guessed it. A cushion. Obviously.
I am actually starting to run out of sofa and bed space for my cushion collection now, it’s so obscene. Ah well, that’s a problem for another day. Anyway, in addition to the wonderful global treasures on offer, Liberty also stocks a great collection of British designed homewares. I was sorely tempted by this Rory Dobner bone china plate, but concluded that I didn’t know where I’d display it – and that I would be too scared to actually use it as part of a dinner service. I adore the collection though, with its quirky anthropomorphic designs on ceramics, soft furnishings and collectible tiles, inspired by items in Dobner’s North London studio.
I eventually settled on this gorgeous grey Carly Velvet and Linen cushion by British brand, Boeme, for no other reason than I just couldn’t resist the colour combination which looks stunning when contrasted with both dark and light shades. Boeme was founded in 2011 by Jo Bound, a British fine artist, with her collections focusing on colour and pattern, and using archival prints as well as her own paintings as design inspiration. I particularly love the watercolour look of this cushion and once I’d spotted it, the other cushions on offer failed to even come close!
It’s pretty special isn’t it? I’m still enjoying looking at it whenever I walk past. As you can probably tell, I had a fabulous time – and a blueberry muffin – at Liberty last Sunday and I highly recommend you take a peek inside next time you’re in London. I got to meet the team behind Livingetc and made sure to let them know about this blog (a girl’s gotta spread the word…!) and they were all extremely supportive and friendly which I very much appreciated.
Now I’m conscious that I have written an entire post about Liberty without mentioning their trademark floral fabric collections. But if you want a bit more of an overview of the stunning fabrics that Liberty has on offer, you should check out this post on the very excellent Carnival of Colour. Rebecca is positively giddy about Liberty’s prints and she has grand plans to use them throughout her home. If you’re a fan, you’re going to love her site!
Have you been to Liberty lately? Bought anything from the Oriental Room? Let me know as I would love to hear all about it!
Happy travels, and shopping